Data centers have been growing rapidly, and this phenomenon is expected to double with the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Businesses will also require more colocation space to manage their data center operations as they grow.

So data center operators need to consider several variables to manage the increased need for storage.

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Managers will have to calculate the cost to power and cool the facility and the cost of new data center cabinets.

Further, the hardware used for colocation is also rapidly shrinking, so it comes down to coming up with the best strategy to proceed.

Paradigm Shift and Potentially Empty Data Center Cabinets

Recently, there has been a paradigm shift when it comes to colocation facilities. More and more data centers are becoming Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDC), where software is used to direct and define colocation resources. This, in turn, can potentially save the company millions of dollars in hardware savings.

The software can be relied upon to deal with

  • CPU
  • Networking
  • Security
  • Storage

Companies have already started to “virtualize” their desktops and servers as an SDDC enables direct virtualization of storage and networking assets in conjunction with computing infrastructure. So if you decide to go down this route, you can eliminate existing SANs, switches, and network routers and replace them with generic storage arrays and software-controlled storage, switching, and routing.

Space within each facility is limited and can’t be scaled or expanded without significantly investing in building infrastructure. However, with hardware size shrinking, more data center cabinets and equipment are added within an existing space. But is it cost-effective?

What’s Best for Your Data Center?

Determining if it will be cost-effective comes down to your business goals and how you will achieve them. You will essentially have to devise a strategy and weigh the benefits and costs.

Whatever option you choose, the bottom line is that the data center remains reliable.

At the same time, it is vital to be prepared for changes in the industry in the coming years.

Colocation Predictions

Data centers are expected to be directly affected by the consolidation of the IT industry.

According to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, many of the current data center vendors will exit the marketplace within a decade.

Hardware may be shrinking, but software-defined IT will grow to make it more widespread in networking devices, servers, and storage platforms. As a result, the underlying hardware will become more commoditized. Further, the data center hardware market is expected to continue consolidating.

So before you think of the costs of data center cabinets or replacing existing hardware, consider the impact of software-defined IT on your business model.


How has the cost of cabinets affected your business? Have you incorporated SDDC into your operation? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.

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